01 02 03 The Princess and The Pickle: Our Top Books for Christmas! 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

Our Top Books for Christmas!


Is It Christmas Yet?
Written by Jane Chapman, Published by Little Tiger Press
A lovely, festive story about Ted being very excited for Christmas, much to the frustration of Big Bear.  Ted wants to help get everything ready but his good intentions don't always go to plan.  
Parents and little ones can relate to this story – there is so much to get done in the run up to Christmas – choosing and decorating the tree, wrapping up the presents and baking the cake, but so much excitement too. The large ‘sound effect’ words are very effective, such as “plop!” and "splodge!”, when the bears are baking. The book is beautifully illustrated with heart-warming pictures of the two bears hugging and having lots of festive fun together.

The Dinosaur That Pooped Christmas 
Written by Tom Fletcher and Dougie Poynter, Illustrated by Garry Parsons, Published by Random House
Along with the rest of the pooping dinosaur series (The Dinosaur That Pooped A Planet and The Dinosaur That Pooped The Past), this fun picture book is bound to leave any young child in fits of giggles and talking about poo for the rest of advent at least!  All about a greedy little boy who thinks he can never have too many toys, until Santa decides to teach him a lesson.  One half of McFly (or a third of McBusted) have really set the bar for Christmas stories here.  Dinosaurs, Santa and poo - what more could a 4 year old want in a book?!  

You can win a copy of all 3 of The Dinosaur That Pooped books, scroll down to enter the competition! 

A Scarf and a Half
Written by Amanda Brandon, Illustrated by Catalina Echeverri, Published by Maverick Arts
Little Lionel gets a scarf from his granny for a present, but is so disappointed that it’s not a football, he throws it away in frustration as all he wants is something that is fun. However, with the help of his friends, he soon discovers that he could have more fun with a scarf than he could possibly have imagined!  

Trickster Tales: The Pied Piper of Hamelin
Written by Russell Brand, Illustrated by Chris Riddell, Published by Canongate
Never in a million years did I imagine buying a book written by Russell Brand and actually letting my children read it!  Sitting on the front row of Bournemouth BIC in hysterics watching one of my favourite comedians, yes.  Reading a book to my kids said favourite comedian had written, probably not.  Yet, minus a few borderline words and phrases, I think he just about gets away with it!  
With his use of words and style of writing, you can almost hear Brand telling the story in his own characteristic tones.  The book follows the traditional tale of the Pied Piper, with contemporary twists along the way.  With his somewhat eclectic use of the English language, there are often asides in the text and also a glossary to explain meanings in a way children will understand, such as "Pompous: Thinking you are top notch and that your blow-offs smell like flowers".  This book is Brand through and through - bold and entertaining.

Peter Rabbit:  Happy Christmas!
Published by Puffin
Part of the animated series, along with The Peter Rabbit Club and Secret Treehouse Sticker Book, this is a lovely Christmas story for any young Peter Rabbit fan.  Following the style and theming of the current TV series, this book is a festive and familiar read with well known characters.  Follow Peter and his friends as they try to make a special delivery.  When something goes wrong, Can Nutkin come to the rescue in time?   
This is a sturdy board book with glossy pictures - perfect for infants and preschool children this Christmas. 

To win a copy of Happy Christmas, as well as The Peter Rabbit Club and Secret Treehouse Sticker Book (containing everything from colouring pages to maps, memory games, puzzles, plus 150 stickers!), scroll down to enter the competition. You can also sign up to the Peter Rabbit Club newsletter here!

The Beaver and The Elephant
Written & Illustrated by Keith Lemon, Published by Orion
If you're a fan of Keith Lemon, this book will be right up your street!  Of course, your kids won't (or at least shouldn't) have a clue who Keith Lemon is, but this book is indeed suitable for children.  There are three stories, all following the adventures of two friends, Beaver and Elephant, with appearances from Mr Sweaty Fox and even Keith Lemon himself!  Illustrated as cartoon characters within photographic scenes, Beaver and Elephant have lots of fun throughout the stories.  They go on holiday, shop for new shoes, and snuggle "underneath their One Direction duvet covers watching Christmas Top of the Pops".  Along with all the silliness, the stories also have very good morals and the book has become my little boy's current favourite, with the best line being "POOOOOOPAAAAAR", which can be constantly heard like an echo throughout our house.  Thanks, Mr Lemon! 

A Treasury of Animal Stories
Written by Holly Webb, Published by Little Tiger Press
This book contains a collection of short stories about animals, along with facts about the animals, snippets of information about the author and her own pets, tips on writing and adorable illustrations throughout.  It's a hardback book with ribbon bookmark and the Christmas themed stories make it a perfect gift for primary school children.

A Very Pirate Christmas
Written by Timothy Knapman, Illustrated by Russell Ayto, Published by Egmont
A Very Pirate Christmas tells the tale of the dastardly Eyepatch Jim and how he tried to steal Christmas with the help of his crew of scurvy pirates.  The book is full of amusing illustrations and rhymes such as "They climbed aboard that flying sleigh and did a dreadful thing... They tied poor Father Christmas up with gift wrap and with string!" and would make a great gift for any little pirate lovers!

Why not count down to Christmas with books?  They last much longer than a chocolate calendar!  They don't all have to be brand new books, you could scour the charity shops for preloved bargains, throw in some cheap activity books from the supermarket and even bring down from the loft the long forgotten Christmas books from previous years which the kids will love rediscovering! 


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